Travel Thursdays: A day sight-seeing in London

Hello all!  🙂  Although I live in London, there’s so much to it as a tourist.  I have quite a few tips for visitors who plan to travel to London. I keep this list for all my guest and thought it would be worth sharing it for people planning to come here.

I’m a traveller who absolutely believes in maximising the day.

CARPE DIEM! 

Must-do-sights in London:

  • Tower Bridge (aesthetically beautiful compared to the London Bridge.  But since there’s a song named after the London Bridge you might as well see it.  It hasn’t fallen down yet FYI)  Vegetarians – eat at Velo (Vietnamese Food) near the London Bridge (the closest tube station).  It is fantastic! It also accepts the TasteCard which makes it tastier haha!
  • London Eye – huge ferris wheel that should be known as the wheel of fortune.  I wish I came up with that phrase but I can’t take credit for it 😉  Heard it on a tour where the guide was stressing on the ridiculous amount of value it wheels in (ok that was my own pun there! hahaha!)
  • Big Ben –  It’s not that big. LOL  We happened to walk right past it to be honest.
  • Westminster Abbey – where all the kings have been crowned.  Beautiful buildings!
  • M&M World –  My definition of heaven.  It smells great and puts you in a positive mood.  I take all my guest there 🙂  It’s in Piccadily Circus.
  • Go on the hop-on-hop-off bus and view everything from a higher angle.  It’s best to actually use it as a 2 hour guided tour rather than hop off it.  I’ve done this twice and I preferred using it as a guide as I felt I made my money’s worth.  You can see all the sites from here including St. Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and everything I’ve mentioned.
  • Use the tube, buy an oyster card.  The Oyster Card caps itself – so you can hop on and hop off different tube stations.  This is the best way to cover all the major sites in the city by foot.
  • Westfield Mall – has all the major shops without the push-and-shove in Oxford Street.
  • Harrods –  Use it as a sight-seeing mall where you can take photos.  Go to the ground floor where there is a memorial of Princess Diana.
  • Buckingham palace –  I have been for the changing of guards once but I don’t find it worth while to wait in the crowd.  I would rather watch it on youtube.  However – the palace is gorgeous and you should definitely take a stroll to along Green Park to the Palace.  If only I were invited in for afternoon tea 😉
  • Cool Britannia – Best shop on Piccadily for souvenirs and touristic photos!
  • Walk, Walk, Walk.  People who use cabs don’t explore a country at all!!  Also use that money for extra yummy treats. hahahahaha 😉
  • Tinseltown – best milkshakes in London.  It’s near Oxford Street on Great Portland Street.

Here are some pictures (I just love photos.  I’m sure you must have noticed by now!):

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Westminster Abbey.  I tried an artistic shot but in retrospect it doesn’t look that artistic. LOL

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The lovely Tower Bridge!  And next up… The yummy food there.  You knew that was coming 😉

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Absolutely love this cafe!  The veggie summer rolls were very refreshing. The rice was good – but not great. I loved the Banh Mi Baguette.  That was to die for. Like literally.

I would travel all the way there to eat it.  Yes it was that good!!  Ok so if you’re a vegetarian tourist you absolutely must eat a Banh Mi Baguette.  Must.  Must.

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The M&M world.  Ok not like I needed to type that out – I’m sure you could have figured that out… haha!

Hope future visitors exploring London enjoy it!  Any further questions feel free to contact me 🙂

xx

B

B’s Day Trip to Bicester Outlet Village and Oxford

ALERT TO ALL BRAND-LOVING SHOPPERS – this post will cost you!  It’s highly likely you’d end up here after hearing my undying love for brands at a good price.  🙂

I also recommend Bicester to all my friends who visit London.  My favourite shop there is Burberry as you get good merchandise for an even better price! 🙂

Brands that I personally like there:

  • Burberry
  • Roberto Cavalli
  • Prada (though I’ve not bought anything yet- I’d really love to win the lottery one day and shop without checking the price-tag!)
  • Dior (I liked a pair of sunnies once and some lady took them right under my nose!)
  • Guess (they have pretty funky tees for a good price)
  • MK (I end up just browsing)
  • Juicy Couture (Bought a really nice wristlet for my iPhone 5 – during my latest trip)
  • Gucci (I’ve not bought anything from the outlets but I always browse – just ‘coz you never know!)

When my friends visit we often plan a day trip there! I’m on a shopping diet right now and this post is making me want to buy something. arghhhhh.

After a day of shopping we went to Oxford and walked around a bit.  Oxford is a beautiful place though in retrospect I prefer Cambridge.  But if you are spending a day in Bicester, Oxford is a mere 15 minute drive so it only makes sense to explore!  I loved the fact that it was so quaint.  

Here are a few pictures of Oxford:

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I found the picture with the heads really weird – almost creepy.  But it was worth a photo 🙂 hehehe.. 

Enjoyed walking around and was exhausted after!

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B’s tired feet. 

xx

B

 

B’s EGGLESS SCONES

Yes – so I’ve made eggless scones many times.  This is very easy and quick.  My previous recipe does not seem to work as well for me as I’ve made tiny adjustments here and there.

I’ve also experimented a lot with Nutella as a topping as that’s just a winner. 😉  Baking eggless scones is really easy, so if you haven’t tried it out – you really really should.   Most recipes online for scones are eggless if you omit brushing the top with egg and replace it with milk.

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This picture should entice you… Hmmmm…  It’s ready to eat 😉

I’ve taken pictures before the toppings too! Ok so I take a lot of food photos.

Scones before the free fat topping.  (I love doing that: free fat.  The reverse of FAT FREE.  How can a dessert be FAT FREE?  It’s FREE FAT FOR ALL! Can’t allow me to get FAT ALONE!)

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B’s Easy Eggless Scones

Bakes: About 4-5 large scones

Ingredients:

  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Unsalted Cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120 ml milk , a bit extra for brushing

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220C.
  2. Mix together the flour, salt and rub the butter. Make sure the butter is cold. This ensures softer scones.
  3. Add in the sugar.  Mix in the milk and mix lightly to form a dough. Do not knead. (NO NEED TO KNEAD!! LOL)
  4. Move to a floured surface and cut the shapes required.
  5. Brush with milk.
  6. Bake for about 13 minutes, till golden on the top.
  7. Serve with clotted cream, jam or Nutella.  🙂

Finally my revised version of eggless scones.  Have been meaning to do this- as I don’t use my previous recipe much anymore!  We had this with hot custard the other day and it was divine.  🙂

xx

B

B’s Day Trip to Brighton

Hello everyone!  i’n going to be blogging a bit more than my usual to compensate for my absence.  So even if I was not missed – let’s just pretend I was 🙂 HAHA!

Last weekend I went to Brighton for the second time and it was lovely. When I first went there I was a bit taken aback by the lack of sand  on the beach.  I’m more used to Australian Beaches (Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, Gold Coast etc) where your foot just sinks in the soft sand.  However, never seeing a pebbly beach before I was intrigued.

This made me return there 🙂

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I absolutely love beaches – just sitting and watching the swash and backwash of waves gives me a sense of peace.  The concept of water merging with water and forming an indistinguishable embodiment of water is intriguing.  It draws a parralel to humanity – we are all the same, yet we aren’t.  We merge into one light at the end (that’s what I believe).  I wasn’t planning to get philosophical there 😉  But yet I absolutely love sitting in beaches.  This one was a bit different as it did HURT.

TIPS FOR BRIGHTON BEACH:

  1. Take a comfy picnic mat – as stones can be rather pokey.
  2. Take a pack of playing cards to play (just because we did that) haha!
  3. Eat yummy vegetarian food in Pompoko (Japanese restaurant!)  A great find 🙂
  4. Watch the sun set and take silhouette pictures – just because they come out so artistic.
  5. If taking a car, park after 5pm as it’s a flat rate of 5 pounds.

Here are some pictures of our trip:

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The yummy vegetarian food in Brighton deserves a separate caption

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(Vegetarian Prawns:  Basically crispy tofu with veggies in the middle)

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Tofu Sesame Don 🙂

The last time I went to Brighton we couldn’t find anything vegetarian besides pizza, so this was really a refreshing option for vegetarians.

Brighton is worth a day trip for visitors in London 🙂

xx

B

B’s Day Trip To Cambridge

I’ve recently decided that I have to explore UK as a country.  It sounds pretty obvious but somehow when you live in a place, you often take it for granted.  I had the opportunity to travel within UK while my sisters were visiting and the voice in my head basically screamed “THIS IS AS GOOD AS A EUROPEAN HOLIDAY – DON’T OVER LOOK IT’S BEAUTY”!  Yes – Cambridge was nothing less than beautiful.  It reminded me of a combination of Venice (primarily its canal like structure) and London (the British Architecture).  

We hopped on a direct train (45 mins) from Kings Cross Station and alighted at Cambridge.  It was pretty straight-forward as we didn’t get lost.  I’m quite directionally challenged otherwise!  I usually rely on my husband on holidays where directions are concerned.  However, we reached just fine…

My number one tip would be:

See Cambridge while punting!  You will be able to cover all the major sites of Cambridge in this 45 minute experience.  The punters are pretty good looking too 😉 HAHAHA!  But yeah friendly punters are a great bonus!

ImagePunting made me nostalgic.  I was reminiscent of Venice!!  Saying that – gondolas are definitely overpriced in comparison.  Just FYI – we should all buy little boats next time and take them to Venice.

Tip NO 2:  Take photos with King’s College (as it’s free to do so!) ok – so take photos with everything.  The architecture is simply immaculate.

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Go into Pembroke College if you want to see a college for free 🙂 The name seemed pretty apt with “broke” in it.

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Enjoyed Cambridge very much and would recommend it as a day trip for visitors in London 🙂

xx

B